Message to Dr. Ruth

Thanks to for pointing out this article.

And to Dr. Ruth for once again disappointing with respect to nontraditional relationships and alternative sexualities. She’s already stated that bisexuality doesn’t exist, so why should this surprise us? In the article, she states:

Two happily married people might think that their relationship can survive introducing other partners into the mix. But when one partner gets jealous, then the damage done to the relationship is often irreparable.

Are there couples that engage in this agreed-upon cheating without incurring any harm? Possibly. So I guess the question becomes: What are the odds of a relationship falling apart because of such behavior? I can’t be certain, but if you value your relationship, there is no acceptable percentage of risk in my book. It’s my belief that the old monogamy is far better than the new one.

Do you want to know why this bothers me? IT’S GIVING JEALOUSY ALL THE POWER! She is basically saying that this one emotion is insurmountable and we are powerless against it, so we should do everything possible to ever avoid feeling it. This bothers me because (a) jealousy is only as powerful as we let it be, (b) since most jealousy stems from internal insecurities, by trying to avoid it we are also avoiding dealing with important parts of our own psyches, (c) avoiding problems is almost never helpful in relationships and (d) it implies that monogamous people either never feel jealous or can somehow magically cope with it when they do.

I think it’s the last one that bothers me most of all–some of the most jealous people I know are monogamous, free of this “risk” that Dr. Ruth talks about, and yet they have more jealousy and less means to deal with it than many people in these supposedly risky relationships. No, I’m not saying that one is better than the other; I’m just saying that jealousy comes from within, and keeping a relationship closed isn’t any safeguard against it. A dear friend of mine who is adamantly monogamous has to deal with jealousy all the time, and very fierce jealousy at that. She is jealous of her husband’s pornography collection and refuses to let him watch it. In monogamous relationships, I’ve been jealous of my boyfriend’s friends, job, and time spent at home with family.

It sounds to me like this supposed expert at relationships is perpetuating the myth that jealousy is a wild, untameable emotion that we have no recourse against. Hogwash. I get jealous all the time, and talking about those insecurities with my partner makes us stronger as a couple and makes me better and more secure as a human being.

/rant

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